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    Bell (Level 8)
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    Smile Victor Modem Cartridge (RN-M141)

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    When people are thinking about the Saturn modem they are thinking of the Saturn X-BAND Modem cartridge sold by Sega. However, not widely known but there was another Saturn Modem cartridge made by Victor. You probably more familiar with the V-Saturn console made by Victor, not the Modem cartridge.


    This was the part of Internet starter kit, which included V-Saturn, a modem, and a browser disk. It was offered when you sign up the internet plan and this was pretty much the experimentation Victor took before SEGA introduced X-BAND Modem for its console.


    The content of the internet service was rather shrouded in mystery and not much was known about the exact contents but from several sources the main feature of this so called online service was centered around the sales of food products sent directly from the mountain to the grocery store bypassing the middle men.


    Another major difference was unlike the X-BAND modem from Sega that needed a smart media card for the payment, as shown in the picture the Victor Modem did not have a slot for a payment card. Instead, a monthly payment was charged directly to the bank account which was nominated at the time of sign up.


    Around that time, Windows 95 and the emergence of Internet boom were in full swing, and home multimedia devices were trying to be connected to the Internet. However, the infrastructure of the Internet had not yet matured enough, and telecommunications costs were prohibitively expensive. Thus the merit of the said system was limited to minority users who could afford the member-only content. When compared to the i-mode which came out later, it could be said that there was no real merit, furthermore the cost was not much different from neighboring grocery store to Wal-Mart.


    As you could guess the take up was disastrous to say the least, and so much so that the X-BAND Modem from SEGA adopted the payment card system instead of directly billed subscription fees. In addition, there was no advertisement about this internet service anywhere in any of media including the game magazine at the time. The very limited cases where people did signed up were mainly due to the salesman of the insurance company inviting the customers to sign up offering the incentives like the free Saturn console.


    Unfortunately there really is no information of this Modem cartridge out there. What I wrote here was based on the anecdote from various forum, blogs, and etc. over the years. One thing I’d love to see will be the application form or the disc that were included with the starter kit.


    Hopefully someone out there with those will share with us when they see people are talking about it...
    Last edited by dj898; 05-14-2019 at 08:06 PM.

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